There’s a reason we call this site sunriseburners and not sunsetburners – even though we’re focused on those of us in our older years. Burning Man – the annual counter-culture arts festival in the Nevada desert – gives you the leeway to feel and act younger – in fact, to be younger psychically, mentally, spiritually and even physically.
There are at least three reasons why this is so. No, Woodstock generation, not sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. But eroticism is near the top of the list.
If, like me, you believe that sexuality is a life force in the human make-up, then you won’t be surprised to find that large doses of nudity, erotic art and an openness to body pleasures definitely makes you want to kick up your heels. It’s like a honeymoon for my wife and me (and we’ve been married for nearly 45 years) because of the open enjoyment of sexuality all around us and the constant reminder that we, too, are sexual beings.
Second is the whimsy of Burning Man. We may laugh occasionally throughout the year, but we are constantly laughing while at Burning Man because of the inventiveness of our fellow Black Rock City citizens. Outrageous costumes, art cars, campsites and performance art will open up the child-like portion of your mind and keep it open until well after you’ve returned to the real (or default) world.
Third is the art. Burning Man’s canvas is the Black Rock Desert, and its artists produce works befitting its size, scope and changing landscape. Art may look one way during the day and completely different at night when lit with some fiery effects. It is magical to walk through the gallery of Burning Man art on the open playa and witness a new generation of artists working in unexplored media in an egalitarian environment (there are no walls or barriers between you and the art at Burning Man).
Keeping the list down to three is practically impossible, because Burning Man is truly the world turned on its head for one full week. Nothing is what it is like back home. In future weeks, I look forward to sharing with you more of the magic of Burning Man, plus some practical pointers on plans and preparations should you decide to go, and the best options for older attendees
Please let me know via the comments section what areas you’d like to see covered, or if you have specific questions that you’d like answered. I look forward to some great conversations.
Alan Markow — Burner, Lamplighter, Grandfather